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After last Thursday night's football game, San Francisco 49er Donte Whitner was penalized and fined $21,000 for his hit on Chris Givens of the St. Louis Rams. In retaliation, the safety legally changed his name to “Hitner.”
Next he revealed the news on Twitter.
Thinking about taking the W out of my last name. Mom said its ok (y'all kno I had to ask 1st lol) #NotPlayingEither
— TWHITNER (@DonteWhitner) October 1, 2013
Did his mom approve? "I'm forever going to be her son and her little boy, so I have to listen to what she says," Whitner said. "After all of these hits and people talking about it, I asked her again three nights ago. She said, 'I don't have a problem with it, go ahead.' So I went ahead and did it yesterday."
ESPN reports that Whitner's official and legal name is now Hitner. Although a jersey displaying the name change would be ideal, it probably won't happen by this Sunday's game. "I actually put the paperwork in yesterday afternoon. Just waiting to get the paperwork out," the player reported in a conference call with the Houston media. "So from here on out until I retire, my name will be Donte Hitner, without the W."
It's official...The W is being removed from my last name from Whitner to Hitner...GM
— TWHITNER (@DonteWhitner) October 2, 2013
The NFL will accept the name change – but only when Whitner buys out all of the remaining inventory merchandise items including the 'W' in his name.
Whitner said that his name change is a form of protest to the NFL's strict fining policy this season. "This is a tough game. This is a game for grown men. When we signed up for that, we all know that. If you don't want to play football, you don't want to be physical, you don't want to be hit, don't come around guys that like to hit. That's the game of football, just do it the right way."
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is all for the change. He said of Whitner's new name, "It's kind of catchy...Good change.”
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons